An Avoidable Tragedy
As you may know, my practice has been on hold since March. One of the main reasons has been because of the unnecessary dangers posed to patients and surgeons performing elective postponable procedures during this crisis. Here is one of the tragic consequences of not taking this pandemic seriously enough. It is a verbatim copy from a TMZ article from this morning.
“BEV HILLS PLASTIC SURGEON DIES FROM COVID … AFTER PATIENT COUGHS ON HIM 1/10/2021 11:11 AM PT
A plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills has died from COVID-19 … and it appears to be entirely because he was able to keep working on patients during a pandemic.
Dr. Payman Simoni — who’s been featured on “The Doctors” show — passed away while hospitalized in L.A. — this after he contracted the virus while performing a cosmetic procedure on a patient who turned out to be COVID positive … so say family sources.
We’re told Dr. Simoni was doing a lip injection on a woman last month … obviously an elective procedure. She was temperature checked and filled out a COVID questionnaire. She was not tested.
While the doc was hovering over the maskless woman, our sources say she coughed in his face. He had his mask on, but still … she sprayed on him. She contacted the office a few days later to inform them she had tested positive for COVID.
Dr. Simoni then went into quarantine and began experiencing symptoms — shortness of breath, etc — and in short order, he was on a ventilator at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. We’re told Dr. Simoni was eventually placed in a medically induced coma as his lungs started failing. He died Friday from a brain hemorrhage.
It’s a cautionary tale … one that might’ve been avoided if the City of Beverly Hills hadn’t passed a resolution allowing cosmetic surgery offices to remain open while cases continue to surge. Some docs have opted to hold off — others obviously haven’t. Simoni was 50. RIP”
I’ve been asked by my patients countless times since March to inject cosmetic fillers around the face and mouth but have repeatedly declined due to Covid risk. These injections require close contact between patient and injector, and injections in two common areas (peri-oral and naso-labial folds) are impossible to accurately perform with the patient wearing a mask. And, by the way, coughing is not required to spread the virus – simply breathing and talking will spread it just fine.
Two other important points: 1- with hospitals in southern California at capacity and getting worse daily, patients and injectors may not even be able to get potentially life-saving care at this point even if required, and 2- (possibly more important to remember and tell your friends and family): even if the patient and staff had tested negative the day of or shortly before the procedure, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE THAT A PATIENT WHO HAS TESTED NEGATIVE IS NOT AN ASYMPTOMATIC CARRIER ABLE TO SPREAD DISEASE TO OTHERS. IT TAKES A VARIABLE AMOUNT OF TIME AFTER EXPOSURE TO TEST POSITIVE EVEN AFTER THE ONSET OF SYMPTOMS.
In fact, I was just told earlier today of a medical office employee who become symptomatic and had 2 negative tests before finally testing positive after needing to be admitted to the hospital in respiratory distress. Obviously, this employee could have unknowingly exposed other co-workers and patients in the process. A NEGATIVE TEST DOES NOT ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR MASKING, HYGIENE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING.
In summary, I am particularly saddened by this story because it was simply avoidable by using common sense and avoiding elective procedures at this time of crisis.
Remember, the vaccine is on the way and we are lucky that it is so effective. So hang in there, avoid unnecessary procedures, socializing, traveling, and don’t let your guard down. I hope to see you all soon, but not until it is safe for all of us.
PS Please share this email with the ones you love and care about. It could save their lives.